Two monkeys in a tree

I feel so spoiled having another important and beautiful friend visiting me here in my summerparadise. 
I had to laugh when I picked her up though...
We both had blue jeans, white jumpers and our hair braided, like we would have a mental agreement, like sisters:)
And what could be a better start than taking her for a walk along my usual route along the beach. 
There we passed my photo tree.
Then we decided to climb my photo tree...
Luckily no one passed by so we did not have to explain why a nearly 50 year old woman was trying to behave like a monkey...
'And the branch on the ground was already there. 
Just saying...
The good thing we managed in the end to look like we don't do anything else than climbing trees.
So natural and relaxed:)
Yup, I can definitely tell we are in for a good week!

Project cozy terrace.

I felt I had been neglecting our back terrace for other more important things (?).
I decided to dress it in a different table and chairs. 
Weather permitting we spend a lot of time there and I wanted seats for more people and a more warm and welcoming atmosphere. 
The chairs will fade in color due to rain and sun and will hopefully meet the grey in the table eventually. 
I feel I got the start I wanted for the back terrace and love to hang out there now.
I only need to add plants and flowers and maybe an umbrella to bring some shade when the trees are not enough before I can consider it done but for sure at least we have a beginning in project "cozy terrace".
The original furniture I placed in the front of the house and is now serving as a perfect breakfast place since the morning sun is embracing that side of the house. 
Yup, that was that for this summer:)
I guess making a home of a house is a never ending story.

'The day after yesterday...

Today i had the opportunity to spend some almost-alone-time with my dear hubby before he also left to work a couple of more weeks before coming back.
It was only Bella who joined us and we kind of just enjoyed the beautiful weather, had lunch at another of my favorite places ( hotel Saltsjöbaden) here at my summer paradise, went for a bike ride along the beach and finished off with an ice cream. 
Its amazing how much quality time you can squeeze in in a couple of hours not doing anything particular, just being together sharing the day.
I can not think of a better way to spend the day after yesterday ( when almost everyone who was here for the weekend left) with the best company I know.
A sunny day with sunshine in my heart.
Did I mention earlier how lucky I feel?!

My midsummer guest.

The weekend is almost over and I'm two kids and a friend less. 
So weird feeling when a lot of activities, noise and life changed into passivity, quietness and calmness.
Nothing wrong with that though, just different.
Im so happy though that these days have been filled with family, ( sisters you were missed the whole time), friendship and my very special midsummer guest.
My beautiful friend came from Geneva to spend the weekend with us and at the same time bring flavor to life.
Me and her are like Laurel and Hardy ( Helan och Halvan) or like two peas in a pod.
She is blonde ( not mentally 😜), I'm dark, she is small I'm big, she is short I'm tall.
But both of us have big hearts, big smiles and a lot of love that join us together.
She has that quality im striving to possess too.
A quality that makes other people feel they are wonderful and good persons and she really brings out the best in me.
We only meet once a year but we take off where we left over a cup of tea.
She has the gift of spreading wellbeing like she is sprinkling sugar on a cake.
I so love her!
So not only did I have most of my entire family here but also my soulmate and dear friend to brighten up this midsummer weekend. 
I feel so lucky!!!


The days go by and yesterday it was time for our Swedish midsummer celebration!
The sun was shining, the day was warm and the birds were trying to sing their loudest. 
Two of our missing family members arrived in the morning so my whole entire family was together again. 
What could be better than that?!
Ill tell you, all my sisters with their families were suppose to come but only one made it.
The others flight got cancelled and the next available time would have been on Sunday. 
Such a disappointment!!!
Of course we did our best to make it a positive day but I (we all) felt there were something missing. 
We also missed the midsummer dance ( we were too late) but at least we saw the maypole, all the people and got the feeling for this special day. 
Herrings, family, meatballs, sunshine, salmon, laughs, salads, strawberry cake, plays, chats, "schnapps" and everything else that would fit in the word midsummer we had. 
And all of this sprinkled with that togetherness and security that comes with the gratitude of having a family.
But sister, you were missed!!!

At our little marina.

Down at the marina in our little town it's always a lot happening.
A few restaurants, a beach, the pier, a playground, a tiled area for dancing and benches here and there for contemplating or just enjoying the view.
In our case it's the restaurant at the beach that is calling.
Good food ( the best shrimp sandwich ever), nice service, beautiful view and a wonderful holiday feeling. 
And when some people in our family finds out we are going there I get both smiles, kisses and acrobatic reactions  (well the acrobatic part does not really include my parents) and I know for sure that that visit will make their day.
Yes our little marina offers something for everyone but for us it also offers a part of our summer.
And a perfectly normal Wednesday gets a silver lining:)

Beauty in a box

I very rarely wear make-up apart from mascara.
When there is an event that makes me want to put something more in my face I use eyeliner, blusher and lipgloss.
For some reason I forgot to pack those things going to Sweden so I felt very lucky when I found a few boxes with tempting content at the tax free shops at the airport and on the plane. 
There and then, with these small treasures in my hand, I also decided to start paying a little more attention to my face and try to make myself look prettier...
One box from Elisabeth Arden is called "bronze in the city" where I found things I normally use apart from the bronzing powder and the other box from Clinique is named after New York ( could not resist that) and also contains everything I use with the addition of an eyeshadow.
But being so wild and crazy my thought was to keep one box here in my summerhouse and bring the other one home to the US swapping old stuff ( my blusher I bought when Olivia was born) and kind of start over.
I know that beauty comes from your inside but beauty in a box is so much more easily accessible:)
So from this summer I hopefully will be more pretty.
Thats the plan.
So far (almost a week) I only barely managed to open the boxes.
Next step would be to actually use whats inside ...
But the summer just started. 
I guess it's no rush...

A feel-good experience.

Slowly slowly the summer holiday-feel-good-spirit is getting a grip around my heart and soul. 
Im sure the birdsong, the salty air and the sleep-in mornings add to the whole experience but only to go for a walk along the sea is perfectly enough to make me feel good.
On my feel-good trip I'm dragging my kids along.
I don't think they appreciate it the same way I do (!) but I hope they will learn to later on understand the importance of being able to enjoy the little in life ( like a flower, a cup of tea in peace or the horizon) and be grateful for that.
Meanwhile its only for us to share the "feel-good experience".
I take the feel-good and they take the experience...
A good enough start:)

Rooms dressed in summer.

It is unbelievable how the jet lag affects us. 
We sleep till after lunch and stay up half the night. 
The kids are moody, irritated and are a pain in the butt to each other.'
And this is only the first couple of days in a long row...
'Slowly slowly the house is coming together though. 
Room after room is getting rid of that thin layer of abandonment from our lack of presence during winter and fresh flowers are spreading a beautiful summer feeling. 
The flowers in here I picked along the road outside our house.
It is something special with handpicked flowers.
They somehow add an extra dimension of summer and the chaotic mix ( I take what I find) just kind of radiates freedom:)
More rooms to go through but I like the way I can see the difference, feel the atmosphere changing and enjoy the spirit of the house dressed in summer. 
With a big cup of tea in my hand I let the feel-good run through my veins and I just feel so happy.

A trapped day...

Some days just feel that they are being trapped in between something else. 
Today was a day like that.
Even what to wear became hard to decide...
Or if to bring the scooter along or not...
After trying out several ways to act in her clothes she eventually decided not to wear the poncho, not to stay on the scooter but to throw a raincoat on and keep the hat.
'And luckily her smile:)
Yup, those are the kind of problems we can allow ourselves when on holiday and still so jet lagged the day is completely upside down.

Sweden, Ystad , summer

Believe it or not but suddenly I'm in Sweden!
Me and three kids.
Just like that. 
We are here for the summer, for my family, for the simplicity, and for me:)
The house was just laying there, embraced by all the green, waiting for some tender, loving care, for a big clean out and for some noise and life filling the rooms.
It rained when we arrived but by the time we woke up from our beauty sleep the sun was out and the world was clean and ready to welcome us from its best side. 
There are a few "musts" we always have to do when we arrive.
We just have to go down to beach to smell the sea, look out on the horizon and sit on the pier.
I need to see my parents ( of course), to preserve every moments with them.
And the kids always want Swedish pizza ,(served in a very primitive way because the wait for just that particular pizza in that moment seemed unbearable,) Swedish candy, cinnamon croissants, and ice cream. 
Easy to fulfill and leaves everyone satisfied :)
i guess I can say the summerholiday has started for real:)

The last night with the gang...

One girl in our family thought it would be a great idea to have a few friends over before everyone is leaving and as a get-together-get-closer-always-remember-each-other kind of party.
So very impromptu she invited nine friends, i took her up to the supermarket to get s'mores, chips and drinks and "tjoff" a party was about to start. 
Boys and girls, s'mores and marsmallows, laughs and hugs.
Not that I was constantly checking on them but I could not but not notice the peaceful and almost sentimental atmosphere, the togetherness and that special bond people develop from many years of up's and down's together. 
By judging by the giggling voices this morning from those girls sleeping over it was a very special night they shared together and that was exactly what Olivia had in her mind when she suddenly decided to throw her little party. 
Last night with the gang...
What at a wonderful ending of a school year and such a beautiful start of the summer holiday!

Graduation two!

Today was the day when another graduation took place. 
Today was the day when my senior is not a senior any longer. 
Today was the day for my beautiful oldest son.
Today was the day when highschool officially ended. 
Today was the day when hard work, stress, procrastination, worrying and anticipation was put on hold. 
Today was the day when years of tears, laughs, friendship and memories was fortified in the hearts. 
Today was the day when my baby took his first step towards real independence. 
Today was the day when another milestone was added in the book of life.
Today was the day when his mom got emotionally drained...
Today was the day when the family took a jump into summer holiday, freedom and hopefully some carefree couple of month.

A day in between graduations...

In between graduations life continues as usual!
Since my in-laws are here I thought we could give them an opportunity to enjoy a little bit of the American history today and brought them to Ellis island and the Statue of Liberty. 
Two landmarks and two "must see" when visiting New York. 
That lady is really beautiful and this time we managed to climb up to her feet ( it was closed for very long before) and were able to enjoy the stunning view of manhattan skyline. 
A lot of photos were taken, many steps were climbed and a long time was spent here in the gift shop.
She radiates something special that copper lady, I don't know if it's security, confidence or just pride but it feels good to be around her:)
Ellis island was not Bella's favorite, she thought that was a really creepy place and prefered to hung out also in this gift shop. 
And actually, It is almost impossible not to feel the history in those walls.
So many dreams, disappointments, tears and worries...
Could be a little heavy for a little girl.
The ferry ride home though offered another view and definitely more of eye candy this time, in the shape of Manhattan, a view I never seem to get tired of and luckily I felt my in-laws also got that wow-feeling.
Sunshine, history and beautiful ladies, yup, that was a typical day in between graduations:)

Graduation one!

School is out!
One graduation done, check!
Olivia got a well deserved ending of her middleschool era and she finished like a winner!
Receiving an award for outstanding citizenship and positive contribution to the school community made my day and made probably up for her entire school year:)
 My beautiful, ambitious, hyper, short tempered, warmhearted, hardworking, difficult, funny, bighearted and absolutely wonderful daughter graduated on a day when the sun shined its brightest, the sky was painted in a deep blue color and the temperature outside just softly embraced us.
Happy, relieved and excited she is ready to leave the middleschool culture and move on to the more adult and mature version of this school. 
If someone is ready to take on this "challenge" though, it's her for sure. 
For the last passed month everything has been about high school and everything that fits into that word.
Courses, studytechnics, what to wear, how to manage time and of the course the much awaitening new " freedom". 
I think this last picture reflects what not only her but we all felt today.
An ending of a chapter and the beginning of a new blank page!
But first summer holiday!

A garden make over.

A week before we leave for Sweden we decided to give our garden a make over. 
I mean why plan this ahead and give it some time when you can squeeze in a change on a very spontaneous basis just before you are about to leave for the entire summer?!
It was just that it was too much of the green color and as we try to strive for balance of the five elements, according to the Feng Shui school, also in the garden, this lack of that very same balance really bothered me. 
And actually, some of the greens did not seem to like where they were ( and that really bothered my husband) and needed to be relocated.
Even though I'm leaving the country to spend the summer in Sweden...
'I'm very excited though to see the result and got very disappointed when the sky just opened and let the rain loose and forced my garden heroes to stop working. 
But on the other hand that means I will have an exciting day tomorrow too when they are all back in business again. 

A baby bird on our driveway.

We have fairies, deers, raccoons, butterflies and now a little baby bird in our garden. 
And halleduniamig ( Swedish for OMG) how cute he was...
'He must have fallen down from the nest above in the tree and definitely seemed a bit lost...
And jeez how trouble minded I got seeing him helplessly trying to use his wings.
Suddenly I could not remember how to act when there is a baby animal involved apart from the "not touching" part...
'I did not want to ruin this little bird's future but I knew for sure that bird would not have a future to look forward to if I didn't do anything so rushed away to get something I could move it with. 
I figured if I removed it from the driveway and away from that open area and in under a shrub or something it would not be as vulnerable while I looked up instructions for how to deal with an "unflyable" little baby bird. 
But while I rushed in to the garage to try to find something I could use to help it, it managed to jump away ( !?).
Totally gone, not a sign of that bird anywhere.
Terrible feeling, not having been able to help out, but if anyone knows how to handle baby birds please advice me so I don't screw up again...

At the photo studio.

For the first time in our life we went to see a professional photographer to have our portraits taken. 
Ajax was the lucky winner (!) of a voucher from one of the photographer in town at our schools spring gala, so we thought we might as well squeeze in a session before we all will be spread out all over the world like stars in the sky. 
I was not allowed to take any pictures but I somehow sneaked in a few with my phone but unfortunately I only got them from the back...
'It was a lot of waiting while somebody had their individual photo taken but luckily we all have phones so we did not have to talk to each other and maybe risking overworking our voices...
'We also got lots of instructions, joke telling and pose directions but I think the kids managed well to pretend they like each other ( yes it was such day), and enjoyed that whole circus:)
Well, there is a first time for everything but if the pictures turn out to be good and kind of reflect the true us I'm sure there will be a second time in a photo studio. 
I remember when I was a kid I secretly dreamed of being a model and I believe today was the closest I could come that dream.
Even though I had to pay for it myself...ha ha.

Flowers in the rain...

Rain out and rain in, rain in heart and rain in...
I think some days are just meant to be like a vacuum bubble.
Meant to serve as a foundation for contemplating.
Perfect for deeper thoughts, emotions and feelings. 
Im catching even those moments and wrap myself in a "pityblanket"...
I go through different levels in my mind about things bothering me, like a flower in rain loosing some petals, and when I've pitied myself long enough, I look at things differently.
Usually i would have taken a decision, made a plan or just emptied my mind on negative thoughts.
Today was a perfect day for that kind of activity.
Even though I'm tired now I feel somehow "new" and ready to meet the world's offers and demands. 
I kind of feel like those survived (from the rain) flowers in my vase, someone who has lost those petals but is still standing tall...

Sibling love

i don't know if it is because the clock is ticking and Alex will leave for college soon but just hanging out together seems very important now especially for the oldest and the youngest. 
When I dropped of my son at my daughter's school this afternoon for him to walk home with Bella I saw them wrapping their arms around them and my heart melted. 
And when I came back later they were home cuddling in the sofa. 
Whatever the reason is I'm just so happy they are bonding the way they do.
Nothing beats being close, listening, laughing, being together and not to mention just being silent in each other's company.
A silence that comes from feeling comfortable and safe.
Ok, all my kids they fight, they argue and they can be so mean I have started to look for their horns and divided tongues ( have not been able to find them yet even if it is probably only a matter of time) but when I occasionally see them showing so much love to each other I tend to forget all the tears that are in between...
I'm grabbing on to those moments though like they will never come back and I'm enjoying them to 200 percent so I can later think back and feel good when times are difficult. 
For now my heart is still smiling:)

My backyard!

It seems that Queen Summer finally decided to stay. 
My frozen heart and soul are not only thawing, they are melting...
But at least we have a perfect spot for a "meltdown" in our backyard. 
Our backyard is good for only peeking out from the air conditioned kitchen, to throw your self among the pillows in the seating area, to do homework, to melt in the sun or to just have a snack in. ( at the moment Bella has an obsession with tomatoes)
You can find shade, leeward, peace, beauty, entertainment and inspiration out there. 
Im so grateful to have this oasis just outside our door.
In the winter it turns into a magical wonderland, in the fall a colorful painting and in the spring a beautiful proof of how strong nature and its life cycle is. 
But it is in the summer everything comes together and creates this embracing environment for body and soul. 
I so like my backyard!
And the summer:)

A fairy in my garden...

I found a fairy in my garden today!
A crispy, snow white and fully alive fairy.
I always have had a feeling our garden was magical and that fairy was the proof:)
The fairy looked familiar though and the way she swirled through the garden told me she had done this dance before. 
I so love how kids so easily disappear into their own world and just integrate everything around to make it a part of another larger and more abstract and dreamy world. 
I only have my iPhone since I left my big camera in Sweden but even the phone was able to catch a glimpse of that magical state my daughter set into...
Lucky me who has my own cristal fairy in my garden:)

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